These Are The 10 Best Mid-Sized Cities In America To Get A Job

We used data to determine which mid-sized cities are about to get promoted.

Chris Kolmarby Chris KolmarBest Places For Jobs, Rankings - 2 years ago

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If you’re in the market for a job and have some flexibility in where you can take your next job, you’ve come to the right place. Especially if big city living isn’t your thing.

You see, we’ve taken a deep dive into the world of job and employment data to identify the places around the country that have the best job market, but aren’t the biggest of metros.

These are the gems of cities around the country that may not have the name recognition of Chicago or San Francisco, but still offer job seekers plenty of opportunities to find a high paying, quality job.

With that thought in mind, we analyzed the data for 250 cities in the country that we classified as “Mid-Sized” — cities with between 108,000 and 68,000 people. These are roughly the 250th – 500th biggest cities in the country for the trivia folks playing at home.

After crunching the numbers, we were left with this set of the best mid-sized cities in the country to get a job. And the winner, Boca Raton, proves that its not only a great place for retiree’s, but one of the best when it comes to getting a job:

  1. Boca Raton, Florida
  2. Davie, Florida
  3. Carmel, Indiana
  4. Fishers, Indiana
  5. Highlands Ranch, Colorado
  6. Alafaya, Florida
  7. Sandy, Utah
  8. League City, Texas (Tie)
  9. Sugar Land, Texas (Tie)
  10. Pearland, Texas

Read on to see how Boca Raton earned its sunny position on our list and more details on each of the top ten.

If you can’t contain your excitement, you can scroll down to the bottom of the article to check out the list of the top 100 mid-sized cities for jobs.

Unemployment Rate By Zip Code

How we determined the best mid-sized cities for jobs

As we mentioned earlier, we choose the 250-500th biggest cities in America as our definition of “mid-sized”. We think it’s a solid combination of standalone cities and suburbs of major metros that allows for a varying set of personal preferences on where to live.

We then gathered the following criteria for each of the 250 cities:

  • Unemployment rate
  • Recent job growth
  • Future job growth
  • Sales tax
  • Income tax
  • Median household income

Sources of criteria include the the BLS and Sperling’s Best Places.

We believe the criteria finds a balance between:

  • Quality of jobs (Median Income)
  • Ability to get a job (Unemployment rate, recent job growth, and future job growth)
  • Getting to actually keep the money you make (Sales tax and income tax)

We then ranked each city for each of the criteria from one to 250, with one being the best in any category.

We took the average rank across all criteria, with the place posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Mid-Sized City For Jobs In America”.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the top 100.

Otherwise, learn how these cities got to their executive suite status.

1. Boca Raton, Florida

Best Mid-Sized Cities For Jobs In America

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 85,738
Median Income: $94,627
Unemployment Rate: 4.5%

Taking the CEO position on our list of the best mid-sized cities for jobs is Boca Raton.

While we didn’t necessarily guess that the city of over 85,000 people would take the cake, it boasts an impressive array of stats. Namely, it’s job recent job growth and prospects for future job growth rank in the top 5% of cities.

Add on to that the fact that Florida offers a beautiful income tax rate of 0% and Boca Raton solidified itself at the top of this analysis.

Now, to find a way to convince my wife to move down south.

2. Davie, Florida

Best Mid-Sized Cities For Jobs In America

Source: CityInfo

Population: 92,587
Median Income: $74,414
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%

A short commute to the south of Boca Raton, you’ll find Davie — the second best mid-sized city in the country to get a job.

The town hosts Florida Atlantic University and the University of Florida in addition to hosting fantastic prospects for future job growth (top 5%) and a very low unemployment rate (just outside the top 10%).

So why didn’t Davie beat out Boca Raton for the top spot on the list? A median household income that “only” ranks as above average. But at 50% over the national median, we don’t think the town will take it too hard.

3. Carmel, Indiana

Best Mid-Sized Cities For Jobs In America

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 80,060
Median Income: $125,536
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%

Carmel is no stranger to lists like these — it has shown up on our best places for work-life balance in Indiana and the single best place to get a job in Indiana. So the fact that it appears as the 3rd best mid-sized city in the country is a surprise to no one over here.

And it’s not rainbows and unicorns that cause the city to rank so high, it’s a an insanely high median income (sixth highest overall) and a great job market (low unemployment and strong job growth).

In all honestly, we should devote an entire article to the awesomeness that is Carmel — how sweet it is.

4. Fishers, Indiana

Best Mid-Sized Cities For Jobs In America

Population: 76,835
Median Income: $105,189
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%

Fishers ranks as the fourth best mid-sized city for jobs in America.

The perennial second fiddle to Carmel in Indiana, Fishers deserves this more national recognition. The city is in every-way Carmel’s equal, except for median household income which still ranks in the top 10% overall.

So Fishers can celebrate its official transistion to a city this year by adding this award to its mantle for a job well done.

5. Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Best Mid-Sized Cities For Jobs In America

Source: Moaarch

Population: 98,977
Median Income: $118,530
Unemployment Rate: 4.4%

Highlands Ranch represents Colorado as the fifth best mid-sized city for jobs according to our analysis.

A southern suburb of Denver, Highlands Ranch firmly declares a name for itself on the jobs front based on a median household income that ranks in the top 10 overall. Combine that with the lowest sales tax of any city in the top ten and you get to keep more of that income to spend on the good life.

6. Alafaya, Florida

Best Mid-Sized Cities For Jobs In America

Source: Google

Population: 82,196
Median Income: $73,755
Unemployment Rate: 5.3%

Alafaya comes in sixth on our list of the best mid-sized places for jobs in America.

We had personally never heard of Alafaya until seeing it here, a fun part of doing these analysis, and when we dug into we saw plenty to like. While it is technically a CDP, it offers recent job growth and prospects for future job growth that any city would be envious of.

While it’s unemployment rate something to be desired (101st overall), it’s always fun to see a 0 in the income tax column.

7. Sandy, Utah

Best Mid-Sized Cities For Jobs In America

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 87,952
Median Income: $85,317
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%

The seventh best mid-sized city for jobs goes to Sandy, a major suburb of Salt Lake City.

The city of over 87,000 people excels in our ranking due to a minuscule unemployment rate (6th best overall and best in the top ten) and strong prospects for future job growth (top 5%).

And while Sandy may be a bit of a secret to the rest of the country, major corporations like E-Trade and General Dynamics have known what Sandy has had to offer for years.

8. League City, Texas

Best Mid-Sized Cities For Jobs In America

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 83,026
Median Income: $101,264
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%

League City ranks as the eighth best mid-sized city for jobs in the country and leads off a string of Texas locales.

A suburb of Houston that finds itself located closer to Trinity Bay, League City scored well for it’s high median income and prospects for future job growth.

And while Texas offers a 0% income tax rate, sales taxes are quite high in the state, preventing League from finishing higher in this analysis.

8. Sugar Land, Texas

Best Mid-Sized Cities For Jobs In America

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 79,475
Median Income: $119,001
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%

Tied for 8th with League City, Sugar Land cracks the top ten best mid-sized cities for jobs.

Not quite as sweet at Carmel, Sugar Land still has an exceptional median household income (8th highest overall). The city also has an unemployment rate that ranks in the top 10% of cities thanks, in part, to major local players like Schlumberger and Minute Maid.

We’d drink an orange juice to that.

10. Pearland, Texas

Best Mid-Sized Cities For Jobs In America

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 90,347
Median Income: $103,400
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%

And rounding out the top ten mid-sized cities for jobs is Pearland.

Another suburb of Houston, Pearland stands out thanks to a low unemployment rate (top 10% overall) and a high median household income (top 10%).

The fastest growing city in the area, Pearland’s job future job prospects are excellent as it is already the home to several major oil and gas companies and will continue to attract more business over time.

List of Top 100 Best Mid-Sized Cities For Jobs

City Population Rank
wasilla 85,738 1
seward 92,587 2
Juneau 80,060 3
north_pole 76,835 4
soldotna 98,977 5
tok 82,196 6
valdez 87,952 7
willow 83,026 8
palmer 79,475 8
sitka 90,347 10
anchor_point 84,387 11
sand_point 97,951 12
nome 85,745 13
big_lake 93,663 14
unalaska 103,846 15
wrangell 72,465 15
bethel 100,057 17
barrow 75,724 18
sutton-alpine 99,803 19
metlakatla 88,820 20
skagway 86,823 21
bear_creek 73,421 21
susitna_north 100,819 23
anchorage 68,467 24
sterling 101,545 25
butte 72,408 26
tanaina 100,764 27
petersburg 95,989 28
nikiski 70,052 29
prudhoe_bay 71,251 30
badger 85,177 31
ridgeway 95,767 32
chena_ridge 101,339 33
steele_creek 102,555 34
Bryan 76,082 35 Cambridge 105,026 36 Boulder 99,177 37 Largo 77,502 38 Fargo 106,005 39 Framingham 68,689 40 Ogden 82,749 41 Arvada 106,965 42 Town ‘N’ Country 79,785 43 Renton 91,273 44 Bloomington 80,440 45 Deltona 84,973 46 Rapid City 68,060 47 Somerville 75,974 48 Folsom 71,675 49 Lawrence 87,963 50 Mountain View 74,447 51 Longmont 86,355 52 Concord 79,171 53 Meridian 75,210 54 Farmington Hills 80,131 55 Troy 81,307 56 Edmond 81,594 57 Livonia 96,632 58 Norwalk 85,853 59 Federal Way 89,691 60 Westminster 106,750 61 Roswell 89,294 62 Suffolk 84,216 63 Sandy Springs 94,816 64 Kent 108,700 65 Greeley 93,082 66 Asheville 83,796 66 Melbourne 76,609 68 Sparks 90,099 69 Wilmington 107,116 70 Quincy 92,078 71 Chino Hills 75,211 72 Newport Beach 85,323 73 San Mateo 97,322 74 Longview 80,931 75 Spring Hill 99,513 76 Lakeland 98,317 76 Tyler 97,125 76 Auburn 70,297 76 Champaign 81,083 80 Lake Charles 72,204 81 Carlsbad 105,097 82 Columbia 100,735 83 Lakewood 80,213 83 San Ramon 71,213 83 Lake Forest 77,605 86 Palm Coast 75,143 87 San Angelo 93,450 88 Mission Viejo 93,699 89 Sioux City 82,529 90 Napa 77,121 90 Pleasanton 70,329 90 Redwood City 77,036 93 San Tan Valley 77,465 94 Everett 103,135 95 Plymouth 70,895 96 Palm Bay 102,814 97 Roanoke 96,742 98 Greenville 84,445 99 Billings 104,374 100

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